Thursday, December 15, 2005

Thomas Herrion

Thomas Herrion(1981-2005) would have been 24 today, December 15th. You might remember him from this past summer, when he made news in the NFL pre-season after collapsing and dying at an exhibition game in Denver, playing for the 49ers, on August 20th. Herrion was originally from this part of the country, having been born and raised in Fort Worth, which is some 35 miles south of here. He was cut by the Cowboys in the pre-season in 2004, and was very excited to make the 49ers in '05. And yes, he wanted to work with kids someday.

courtesy San Francisco 49ers

Herrion was 6-2 or 6-3, and somewhere between 315-330 lbs. I immediately thought of Korey Stringer, the equally young Minnesota Viking who collapsed in the heat of a pre-season game a few years ago(2001, I think), and of course my own obesity.

This past June I weighed 393 lbs, the most I'd ever weighed in my life. In late November I weighed 366 lbs, and haven't weighed myself since. (Growing up, I was always angry at the brow-beating and the pressure I felt to lose weight, and I lost a substantial amount of weight during a time that I chose to isolate myself from my family in my mid-twenties. I wonder how many people have had similar experiences.)

Unlike Herrion and Stringer, I'm a mere 5-8, and I imagine my obesity is even more of a health hazard. All my life I've been keenly aware of the massive social impediment posed by my excess weight, but often had difficulty losing the pounds because I felt like it was surrendering my will to family members who wanted to break my spirit. I write these words knowing fully well how irrational the connection must sound.

In surveying the blogosphere, I note that there are several weight-loss bloggers.(!?)
for example:

The "Scale Whore", food is worse than crack,(?!)

Fat Fighters and Less Lisa .

Now, I'm not going to abruptly shift focus and make HZ simply about weight loss, although it occured to me that I'd like to try to get down to under 200 lbs by this time next year, by what would have been Thomas Herrion's 25th birthday, and may mention my progress occasionally here. I'm a bit reluctant to do so, because it seems self-absorbed, and I don't buy that "if I could inspire just one fat guy, to lose just 1 pound..." line of BS.

But I haven't been under 200 pounds since 1989, and I'd like to be there again in 2006. And I'd like to live. So here's to life.